I rescued Bauer, a Great Dane that was a neglect case out of my county shelter. He was being starved and left outside on a chain. Needless to say – he is severely underweight – weighing in at only 103 lbs – when he should be around 145-155. My vet seems to think he is about 2, and that he was being starved for so long during his formative puppy growth stage that he will likely never get to be a full mature male size. That doesn’t bother me. I just want him to gain some much-needed weight.
When I first got him, he had every known parasite and worm imaginable, plus coccidia. I have had him for over a month now, we have been through two rounds of panacur, and his body is now worm/parasite free… but he is not gaining any weight. His ribs and spine poke through, and the definition behind his rib cage and above his hip bones is disturbingly sharp. I have seen very little improvement in a month. He’s gained a pound. I have been feeding him the 4Health Lamb and Rice for Adult dogs twice a day. 4Health is what the Great Dane rescue told me to feed him, saying Danes need a lower protein formula dog food. I have also been cooking him chicken or steak and feeding him homemade meals for one meal a day. I have him on Dyne supplement too, he loves the taste of it. But he is still not gaining weight? His stools are still really loose. Not remotely firm. They seem to be really grainy as well, and light in color.
On top of his emaciation – he’s constantly biting his paws, chewing his toenails, and/or licking/chewing his anus or the top of his hips. He has chewed/licked three different hot spots on his back legs/hips area. He does not have fleas. I have him on Trifexis. I am wondering if this could be food related as well? Or maybe he just has allergies? I have a feeling that it could just be boredom/separation anxiety too. He came to me chewing his nails. This isn’t a new issue. But it does seem to be getting more and more intense right now – particularly with his the hot spots.
I am new to Danes. I have always had golden retrievers/flat coats/labs or aussies in the past – so I have dealt with my fair share of obsessive lickers. But Bauer goes beyond licking, he’s chewing out his fur.. I know it’s got to be painful. And I have never experienced a dog that literally eats his toenails. I mean he seriously splinters them apart and chews them off. It’s neurotic behavior.
Any advice is greatly appreciated and welcomed. Thanks!
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